German Potato Salad

 

 

German potato salad (24) WM

After spending two weeks in Peru, we are back in Colorado.  Our trip to Peru took us on a 4 day trek to the Incan ruins of Choquequirao high in the Ande mountains, to South America’s largest zip line in Santa Theresa, to amazing hot springs over looking the river in Santa Theresa, to the not so tourist town of Quillabamba, the gorgeous city of Cusco, to the very tourist city of Aguas Calientes and Machu Pichu, to the hot, humid and noisy city of Lima, and to other small towns in between.

We left Colorado with several weeks of 5″ of snow and cold weather – and now we are back to sunshine and warm weather!  It will be nice and sunny until this weekend where we’ll dip 20-30 degrees and have snow…so is the life in Colorado.

I actually made this recipe last summer but didn’t get the chance to post it.  My husband and I made it again last night, and as before it was delicious!  If you are looking for a potato salad that does not have mayonnaise, look no further.  This recipe uses red potatoes, bacon, white vinegar, sugar and whole mustard seed mustard.  It is sweet and tangy.  Read below for the directions.

German potato salad (2) WM

Serves 6-8

time: 1 hour, roughly

Ingredients:

15 small to medium red potatoes, washed and poked with a fork

6 slices bacon

1 small red onion, diced

1 cup white vinegar

6 tablespoons water

9 tablespoons white sugar

3 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

6 tablespoons whole mustard seed mustard

2-4 hard boiled eggs

1 bunch dill, washed and chopped finely

 

Directions:

1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil, once boiling place the red potatoes in the water and boil for about 20 minutes / until soft when poked with a fork.  Drain and set aside to cool.  Once cool slice into bite sized cubes.

2) Boil the eggs for about 20 minutes, drain the water, cool the eggs then slice them into bite sized pieces.

3) Heat a skillet to high and cook the bacon, being sure to not burn the pieces (turn the heat down if needed).  Once the bacon has cooked place on a paper towel lined plate and press out the extra grease.  Break into little pieces and set aside.

4) Drain most of the bacon grease.  Add the diced red onion and cook for about 5 minutes until slightly brown.

6) Place the cooked & cut up potatoes pieces into the pan with the cooked onions and cook for a little over 5 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so.

6) In a small bowl mix together the white vinegar, water, sugar, salt, pepper, and mustard.  Stir into the potato and red onion mixture in the skillet.  Remove from the heat.

7)  Scoop the potato mixture into a serving bowl.  Stir in the chopped eggs, bacon pieces and chopped dill.  Stir to combine.  Serve immediately (this potato salad can be served cold, but it’s better warm).

 

German potato salad (10) WM

 

German potato salad (15) WM

 

 

Orzo & Wild Rice Pilaf

Orzo & Wild Rice Pilaf (11) WM

What a thought to mix orzo and wild rice!  It’s a pretty good combo.  Add sun dried tomato pesto, kalamata olives, feta cheese and toasted pine nuts and it’s amazing!

  • 1 cup wild rice & water (or chicken broth) per package instructions
  •  1/2 cup orzo pasta & water per package instructions
  • coconut oil (or other high-heat oil)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives
  • Sun dried tomato pesto
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Bulgarian feta (if you can find it, if not regular feta)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

1) Cook the wild rice according to the package directions.  It usually takes close to an hour to make in my rice cooker, so plan accordingly.

2) After the wild rice has started to cook, boil about 1.5 cups of water for the orzo.  Add the orzo once the water has boiled and cook on medium heat until cooked through (it’s pasta, so it should be al dente).

3) When the wild rice and orzo have finished cooking combine and fluff in a large bowl.

4) Heat up a small skillet and toast the pine nuts – be sure not to burn them.

5) Use the skillet from toasting the pine nuts and add a bit of oil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and add the crushed garlic.  Saute for a minute until it is golden brown, be sure to not burn it.

6) Stir the sauteed garlic into the wild rice and orzo mixture; scoop out about 2-3 tablespoons of the sun dried tomato pesto and stir until combined.

7) Add a bit of salt and pepper (to taste) and kalamata olives to the wild rice, orzo, garlic and olive oil salad.  Stir to combine.

8) Scoop out the wild rice and orzo pilaf onto individual plates and sprinkle the toasted pine nuts and feta cheese over the tops.

 

Orzo & Wild Rice Pilaf (16) WM

Orzo & Wild Rice Pilaf (6) WM

Tahini Cauliflower

tahini cauliflower (8) WM

This year was the first time that I had tahini.  I was sold. Wikipedia says that tahini is a paste made from ground hulled sesame seeds and is used in North African, Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine.

I wanted to add a little extra something to plain old cauliflower.  I added a bit of tahini and lemon juice to sauteed cauliflower – the result was fantastic!!

 

tahini cauliflower (4) WM

Serves: 2-3

time: about 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

head of cauliflower

6 tablespoons tahini sauce

salt & pepper if desired

coconut oil

black sesame seeds

 

Directions:

1) Wash the head of cauliflower and cut into bite sized pieces.

2) Heat up a skillet with a small scoop of coconut oil; let the oil get warm and then put the cauliflower in.  Cook on medium-high heat until the cauliflower is soft, but not mushy, and golden brown.

3) Put the from the skillet into a serving bowl.  Add the tahini sauce and stir, add more if you’d like (or less).  Sprinkle a little salt and pepper into the tahini cauliflower and mix if you want.

4) Serve hot with a little black sesame seeds sprinkled over each serving.

 

tahini cauliflower (10) WM

Sauteed Zucchini

Sauteed Zucchini  (36) WM

Zucchini is pretty dang good.  I love sauteing the veggie, and this recipe added a little extra something to my normal olive oil, salt & pepper “recipe”.  My husband thought there were too many capers, I thought the amount was perfect – so I would use a little to start and then add some more if needed.

 

ServesSauteed Zucchini  (12) WM

Sauteed Zucchini  (16) WM

serves 4

time: about 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

3 zucchini, cut into thick-ish round slices

olive oil

3 garlic gloves, smashed

small handful of mint leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon capers, chopped

pine nuts, lightly toasted

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

salt

pepper

feta or goat cheese

 

Directions:

1) Slice the zucchini into thick-ish rounds.

2) Heat a skillet on medium-high heat; drizzle in some olive oil. When the pan/oil is hot place the zucchini in the pan in one layer.  Continue cooking the zucchini until both sides are brown and the zucchini is soft.

3) Meanwhile, chop the rest of the ingredients and brown the pine nuts lightly.

4) Remove the cooked zucchini from the skillet, add in the chopped veggies & browned pine nuts, drizzle in a bit of balsamic vinegar, add salt & pepper to taste.  Stir to coat the  zucchini. Sprinkle the feta or goat cheese on top.  Serve immediately.

 

Sauteed Zucchini  (20) WM

 

Sauteed Zucchini  (28) WM

 

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad (8) WM

I love salad, and I like interesting salads.  This one combines arugula (though I’m sure it would be just as yummy with spinach!), orzo pasta, goat (or feta) cheese and tomatoes.  Super simple and full of flavor – how can you go wrong!??

 

serves: about 6

time: 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

baby arugula

1/2 cup dry orzo, cooked

tomatoes (I used cherry), sliced

goat or feta cheese

5 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt

pepper

 

Directions:

1. Boil the dry orzo according to package directions.  After it has cooked let it cool.

2. Wash and chop the tomatoes.  Wash the baby arugula

3. Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper (to taste) together in a large bowl.  Throw in the baby arugula, cooked & cooled orzo, cut tomatoes and a handful or so of goat or feta cheese (the amount of cheese is to taste).

4. Gently stir the salad to combine all ingredients, serve immediately.

 

 

Orzo, Arugula and Tomato Salad (5) WM

Caprese Salad

caprese salad (19) WM

It has been raining all week here in Northern Colorado, but the weather is supposed to make a change for the better – just in time for the holiday weekend!  The nights and mornings are much more crisp, fall is totally in the air!  I love fall but am not really looking forward to the snow and the lack of summer produce like the wonderful tomatoes and basil used in this salad.  (the bowl & spoon are from Greece, how cool is that!  My husband’s parents brought it back for us several years ago.  Greece is on my list of places to visit…hopefully soon!)

This salad can either be layered in rows – tomato, cheese, basil – or mixed up like it is here.

caprese salad (9) WM

serves 4

time: quick, about 5 minutes unless you cut really slowly

 

 Ingredients:

1 tomato (or half & half of red & orange, or whatever colors – you can also use cherry tomatoes)

handful of basil, torn up

buffalo mozzarella (the kind in water, though regular mozzarella will work too but it’s not as good)

balsamic vinegar

olive oil

pepper

Lawry’s season salt

 

Directions:

1) Cut the tomatoes up into bite sized pieces, tear the basil up, cut the buffalo mozzarella into bite sized pieces (if you are doing the layering method slice the tomato & mozzarella into circles) and place is a shallow bowl.

2) Stir up the balsamic vinegar & olive oil, about 3 teaspoons of olive oil and 1-2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle in the pepper & Lawry’s season salt to taste. Pour the vinaigrette onto the tomatoes, basil and cheese – gently mix in the vinaigrette.

 

caprese salad (13) WM

Slow Cooker BBQ Black Beans

slow cooker BBQ beans (1) WM

BBQ’d black beans sounded kind of weird, but we went with the recipe and they actually turned out really well!  We will make these again!  They were a hit at our BBQ!

slow cooker BBQ beans (4) WM

prep time: 20 minutes

cook time: 2 – 2.5 hours

serves: a lot!  reduce the amount of beans if you want less

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 6 slices of bacon
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans black beans in their liquid
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Cook the bacon until crisp, then remove excess grease on a paper towel.  Break into small bite-sized pieces.  Set aside half.

2. Add all ingredients into a crock pot, stir.

3. Cook on high for 2 – 2.5 hours.  When serving add a little bit of the reserved bacon pieces onto each bowl.

slow cooker BBQ beans (2) WM